Independence Day director Roland Emmerich offers his take on the 'Die Hard in the Oval Office' concept with White House Down arriving this summer. However, director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Brooklyn's Finest) will beat him to the punch with Olympus Has Fallen, which makes its way to theaters much sooner.
The Olympus Has Fallen trailer boasts plenty of cinematic fireworks and imagery of the White House being laid to ruin. Not surprisingly, it also takes time to showcase a respectable cast that includes Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett (Green Lantern), Rick Yune (The Man with the Iron Fists) and Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill: Revelation 3D).
Here is the synopsis for Olympus Has Fallen, based on (relative) newcomers Katrin Benedikt and Creighton Rothenberger's script:
When the White House (Secret Service Code: "Olympus") is captured by a terrorist mastermind and the President is kidnapped, disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped within the building. As our national security team scrambles to respond, they are forced to rely on Banning's inside knowledge to help retake the White House, save the President, and avert an even bigger disaster.
Olympus doesn't beg obvious comparisons to the Obama administration through its casting - unlike WHD, which features Jamie Foxx as the U.S. Commander-in-Chief - but there's clearly something about the related setup that studio heads feel will resonate with general audiences, given the current political climate here in the States. That accounts for Olympus Has Fallen releasing but a few months before WHD, even with undeniable similarities in terms of material and approach.
Then again, Hollywood has a track record of releasing different spins on the same idea within months of one another (see: A Haunted House and Scary Movie 5 this year), so maybe this is just studios playing chicken with one another. Moving on...
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Truth be told, Olympus has Fallen almost looks and feels like an Emmerich picture, between the large ensemble of name actors, melodramatic content and bombastic action that piles on explosions and CGI spectacle. However, Emmerich has found success calling back to the cornball antics of old-school Hollywood disaster flicks - updated with digital-era effects - whereas Fuqua is less experienced in that area.
That's to say: the Olympus trailer suggests Fuqua is attempting to beat Emmerich at his own game and, frankly, that doesn't seem like a great idea (even given the head-start). It might play out differently, though, we'll have to wait and see...
Olympus Has Fallen opens in theaters on March 22nd, 2013.
Source: iTunes Movie Trailers
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